Buhari, Jonathan paid ransom to kidnappers, says Obasanjo

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FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has alleged that President Buhari and predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan paid ransoms to kidnappers.

The president has publicly spoken against the payment of ransom, warning governors against encouraging bandits and kidnappers through negotiation.

However, speaking when he played host to members of Tiv professionals Group (TPG) at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, today, the ex-president said not just the government of Buhari but that of Jonathan negotiated with kidnappers, though they deny doing so.

“Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they deny it,” he said.

Obasanjo, therefore, asked the government to develop a means to deal with kidnappers and bandits as against ransom payment.

The former President equally insisted that fighting insecurity to a standstill requires a “carrot and stick” approach.

“Some people are still reaching out, and hoping that lives can still be saved. But a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly. This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage. But if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” he said.

Recall that Obasanjo was said to have played a key role in the release of the 27 students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State.

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